Petrol price should be de-regulated

Adv Anton Alberts

Factors such as the poor exchange rate which drives the price of petrol in South Africa to record highs, severely impede the country’s economy and the de-regulation of the price of petrol is virtually the only option to soften the impact of the inevitable further increases of the petrol price, Adv. Anton Alberts, the Freedom Front Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on the economy says.

The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has added its voice to that of the Freedom Front Plus and asked people to put pressure on the government to de-regulate the price of petrol, as has already been done with diesel.

According to Adv. Alberts, there is no end in sight with regards to further increases in the price of petrol. He said the de-regulating will lead to competition in the market and competition is always a good method to force prices down. At present only the state decides what the price of petrol is to be.

“In addition to the poor exchange rate of the rand to the dollar and the price of crude oil, which largely determine the price of petrol, it is winter in Europe and there is a greater demand for fuel which could lead to further price increases,” Adv. Alberts says.

In South Africa the faltering e-toll system could also have a huge influence on the petrol price in the near future.

If the system collapses, which at present is a real possibility, the debt related to the system will only be recovered through a further increase in the fuel levy, something which the FF Plus had consistently asked for instead of the implementation of the e-toll system.

At this stage the state levy on fuel is just more than R2 per litre (according to the AA) while 96 cents (on the price of R13-00) go toward the Road Accident Fund. The latter will in all probability also be increased in due course.

“In the case of diesel, the de-regulation did not make a significant difference to the price, but every cent that consumers could save in these difficult economic times will be very welcome and should be done,” Adv. Alberts said.


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